Cream of Fennel Soup

This is taken from the "Ciro & Sal's Cookbook", a collection of recipes from a Provincetown Italian restaurant.

  • 4 Tablespoons butter  
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped  
  • 1 medium-size carrot, finely chopped  
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped  
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • 2 heads fresh fennel  
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine  
  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup light cream, at room temperature  
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 2 tablespoons Anisette, Pernod, or Sambuca 

Melt the butter in a heavy pot. Add the leek, carrot, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are tender. Add the thyme and bay leaf.

Remove the green parts and the stem from the fennel bulbs. Coarsely chop the bulbs and add them to the pot. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and puree it in a food processor. Pour back into the pot. Stir in cream and liqueur and heat slowly until hot.